|Nicknames:||Blue Bloods, Patricians, Warlords|
|Disciplines:||Dominate, Fortitude, Presence|
Clan Ventrue has long been one of the proudest lines of vampires. Its members work hard to maintain a reputation for honor, genteel behavior, and leadership. A sense of noblesse oblige has long pervaded the clan, accompanied by the genuine belief that the Ventrue know what's best for everyone. They not only consider themselves the oldest clan, but see themselves as the enforcers of tradition and the rightful leaders of vampire society. Unsurprisingly, they have long been chosen from the ranks of nobility and privilege, whether kings or merchant princes, but they have also been known as knights and warlords who sought to live by the laws of chivalry and duty. If anything, the Ventrue have adopted to fill the roles of leadership over the ages, and in the modern nights are more politician than noble warrior, more CEO than baron lord. They remain the largest supporters of the Camarilla and the Masquerade, believing both institutions to be the surest means of protecting vampires from the growing mortals masses, and of guarding their own power.
Due to their inherent clan weakness, Ventrue have exacting and rarefied tastes, even when it comes to blood. The player must pick a restriction on the type of blood their character can feed upon, e.g. only young men, no animals, only virgins, etc. A Ventrue will feed on no other type of blood, not even if she is starving or under duress.
The Ventrue cherish history more so than any other clan, believing it to be a worthy guide to live by and to justify their positions of authority today. This is not to say that they have any particular obsession with the truth - a myth can be much more powerful than the real thing, afterall. But they take history very seriously, a fact that is no doubt aided by their tale being one of conquests and grand achievements the likes of which few other clans can boast. To hear them say it, their claim to fame begins in the early of vampire history with Caine himself commanding his eldest childe Ynosch to Embrace the Ventrue Founder, who they believe to be the first member of the Third Generation and who is often called Veddhartha. He was to be Caine's advisor in the nights of the First City, and when the Dark Father prepared to leave he chose to hand the burden of stewarding his people to Veddhartha. Through this story the Ventrue justify their position of superiority and leadership over the other clans, just as they believe their progenitor led the other Antediluvians for a time.
The first major achievement of the Ventrue is attributed to Artemis with the creation of militant Sparta. Wary of the mortal masses even in those ancient nights, Artemis saw promise in the ideas of the philosopher Lycurgus and supported him, seeking to make the humans a tool to be used rather than fought, and eventually making herself Sparta's patron goddess. They would soon become the perfect example mortal potential in her eyes: loyal, brave, and completely devoted to self-perfection. Sensing the rising power, other Ventrue gathered to become a part of the Spartan war machine, urging the neighboring city-states to ally with Sparta while establishing their own domains within the Peloponnesian League. This also made possible the rise of the mercantile city of Corinth and its Prince Evarchus, who exemplified the power of wealth in a role for all Ventrue to follow.
The growing power of Sparta and the Brujah alliance in Athens would lead to the first Brujah War, a conflict that would set the stage for a bitter rivalry between the two clans millennia afterwards. Though the Brujah or Ventrue never came directly to blows in the conflict, the eventual invasion of Athens led by Lysander caused many Brujah and Toreador to regard the Ventrue as power mad barbarians, while Spartan Ventrue considered the Brujah dangerous idealists.
After Sparta's fall, the rise of Rome signaled one of the clan's greatest ages. Many Ventrue had long settled in the region and lived relatively quietly while it was ruled by the Etruscans. Nevertheless, the rebellion that freed the Roman people was attributed to Collat, who would become the city's first Prince. Recognizing the mortals of Rome to be a proud and superstitious people that would sooner stake any vampires than consider living with them let alone beneath them, Collat did not seek to rule the Romans directly or make himself a deity as vampires in the past had done, but influenced events from behind the scenes by collecting favors from the city's citizens. This system would later be refined by Camilla, childe of Collat, who replaced his sire and set about establishing political connections with the patrician families of Rome. Instead of using Disciplines to force his will on the city's leaders, Collat ruled through ghoul proxies delivering favors and contacts, allowing him to grow rich and powerful while the mortals remained ignorant. This strategy would be widely adopted in the centuries to follow and would serve the clan well once the Masquerade was adopted.
The second Brujah War would parallel that of Rome and Carthage, where Brujah, Assamites, and even Baali ruled the mortals openly, demanding blood and sacrifices while living as gods. In such contrast to what the Patricians had fostered in Rome, the African nation was seen as a den of infernalists and monsters. Despite Lysander's repeated efforts to convince Camilla, the war with Carthage would not begin until a Brujah named Dominic antagonized the Malkavian Prince of Syracuse, Alchias. Alchias turned to Artemis and supposedly the bull-dancer Arikel for help, and the three made plans with Lysander to arrange the war. Cainites largely avoided direct fighting during the first two Punic Wars, but in the final assault Ventrue, Toreador, Malkavians, and Gangrel of Rome battled openly alongside the Romans against the people of Carthage. In the end both sides were greatly wounded, but the Ventrue prevailed, and the Brujah would never forgive them for destroying their fabled city.
In the years that followed Rome prospered. The Ventrue shared its power with many of the other clans that had taken part in the wars against Carthage, establishing friendships with other Cainites even as the Ventrue themselves began squabbling with one another. Most Patricians of the time were independent, with the only organization of the clan being a largely ineffectual assembly that eventually fell out of practice. Following the cue of Julius Caesar, Camilla reorganized the Ventrue into a structure that gave authority over the clan's members to the most important Ventrue in the region. While the power over the younger and less important Ventrue was not absolute, it did create a means for settling disputes, establishing connections, and identifying friends and enemies of the clan. These reforms served the clan well, and the Patricians prospered for several centuries until the empire itself dissolved.
Dark Ages Edit
When Rome fell, most of the Ventrue elite abandoned the ruined city to establish new centers of power elsewhere. During the rise of the Merovingian dynasty in Frankia (later the Holy Roman Empire), the Ventrue began infiltrating existing government as feudal lords, thus taking credit for the creation and expansion of the medieval feudal system. As the Frankish state expanded into Germany and Italy, the Ventrue began to prosper once again. When the Holy Roman Empire was dispersed, the Ventrue moved their center of power to Italy. However, since Rome was dominated by the Lasombra (as was much of the Church), the Ventrue established centers of power elsewhere in Italy, in Venice, Milan, Genoa and Firenze. Here, the Ventrue constantly opposed the Lasombra (and their proxies in the church and in Rome) in their quest for power, as their own early efforts had not succeeded. Posing as kings and merchant princes, the Ventrue expanded their influence across the Mediterranean through trade routes and crusades, thus becoming again a force to be reckoned with.
During these times, many Ventrue were influenced by the laws of chivalry and personal honor. Some of these separated themselves from the main clan during the founding of the Camarilla and turned to the Sabbat.
Victorian Age Edit
1800s England was a good time to be Ventrue. The combination of centuries-old feudalism with the nouveau riche middle class served to keep the Ventrue at the top of the power structure. From there, they could oversee both international politics and the finances of an entire country.Many Ventrue childer, already hungry for territories of their own, were sent to colonies through the British Empire, creating Camarilla beachheads in India, Australia, and Egypt. The vampires who already occupied these regions (primarily Ravnos and Daitya in India, and Setites in Egypt) faced years of vicious propaganda declaring them to be heathens, savages, and worse. Most people - both Kindred and kine - adopted these views wholesale, making the work of controlling popular opinion that much easier for the Ventrue. If a Ventrue wanted to increase profit from a mine in Africa, all they had to do was spread the word that the mine's workers were closet heretics, justifying the decline of pay and living conditions. The Danava of India were able to invoke their historical connection with the Ventrue to leverage themselves into a position resembling neutrality, at least on the surface. After over a century, the native Daitya were able to eventually wrest control of India back from the foreign British Ventrue.
Not all Ventrue were robber-barons and misanthropes, but enough of them were to make vampiric opinion turn against them for the first time since the founding of the Camarilla. The Toreador were repulsed by the Ventrue obsession with money and political gains; the Tremere had more important things to worry about than who was Prince of a small English town; the Gangrel were treated as servants and animals when they weren't being hunted down.
The Ventrue made just enough compromises to smooth things over, at least with any Kindred whom they could make use of; it was during this time that the Ventrue learned to temper their cutthroat business dealings with an outward veneer of philanthropy. They remained, of course, a clan out for profit and prestige, but there's no reason not to remain civil while doing so. This policy was put to the test in the New World, where the Ventrue spread West across North America and provided much of the impetus for doing so: The clan's money could sponsor quite a few landstaking ventures and West Coast mines, and wherever cities sprang up so did Ventrue interests.
Final Nights Edit
The Ventrue are second only to the Tremere in terms of organization and interrelation.
Clan Variants Edit
Ventrue antitribu Edit
|Disciplines:||Dominate, Fortitude, Auspex or Presence|
The Ventrue antitribu are the knights and paladins of the Sabbat, sworn to combat the Antediluvians and bring down the degenerate Camarilla. They see their Camarilla counterparts as failures, and have assumed the roles of the race of Cainites' saviors to atone for this. They believe mortals to be ignorant cattle, sufficient only for food and service to their terrible vampire lords. To accept anything less is to take the path of the disgraced Ventrue of the Camarilla, and the Sabbat Ventrue are not willing to accept that failure.
The Ventrues' obsession with the purity of their own breeding causes them to find the idea of "impure" Ventrue bloodlines displeasing. Under such social pressure, if an offshoot bloodline ever came into existence and managed to survive, it most likely did so by pretending to be nothing other than pureblood Ventrue. Such is the case within Camarilla territory anyway; outside of Camarilla territory is a different story...
|Disciplines:||Auspex, Dominate, Fortitude, Sadhana (Out-of-Clan)|
|Primary Sourcebook:||Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion|
In India, where the Camarilla no longer holds any sway, there is a bloodline of Brahmin philosophers and thaumaturges who call themselves the Danava. The Danava believe themselves to be the guardians of their Antediluvian (pitri, "father"), whom they call Veddhartha. These Danava claim that the Ventrue are in fact an errant "antitribu" bloodline of the Danava. The Salubri say that Saulot achieved a transcendent spiritual state in the Indian city of Golconda, which falls within territory controlled by the Danava ; rumors tell that it was due Danava mystics that supplied Saulot the final wisdom he needed for the transcendence he had searched that the Antediluvian eventually succeeded.
Ventrue culture places a heavy emphasis on dignitas, the Latin word for "dignity." In modern days, it's often described as "Face". Ventrue are completely aware of the unsavory aspects of power, and while a Ventrue leader is just as likely to lead organized crime as he is a Fortune 500 company (the Ventrue really don't object to theft, so much as petty theft), he must always comport himself with dignity, with grace and with honor. At least publically.
Version Differences Edit
In 1st and 2nd Edition, Venture antitribu possess Auspex, Dominate and Fortitude as in-clan Disciplines. Revised edition changed their Disciplines to Presence, Dominate, and Fortitude like the main clan. Some 1st and 2nd edition books will thus present Ventrue antitribu characters with Auspex and little or no Presence. The antitribu was also first described as a bunch of wiseguys and low-lifes, an antithesis to the 'blue-blood' concept of the main clan. In the Revised Edition the antitribu are instead those Ventrue who did not approve the change from nobility to merchant the main clan chose.
The discrepancy can be dealt with by assuming that the Ventrue antitribu exist as two pseudo-bloodlines sharing the same name. One is a true bloodline in having a different Discipline spread, the other is a "bloodline" based primarily on social conditions. They are sufficiently difficult to tell apart (due to possessing the same weakness) that they never completely split into two separate bloodlines.
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